2021 Kia Sorento GT-Line (car review)

THE luxurious, tech focused, newly designed 2021 Kia Sorento GT-Line will have you stopping to say “oh wow… this is fancy”. It’s a step up in class and sophistication, with capabilities that will make other large SUVs envious.

With a four cylinder 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine producing 148kW and 440Nm, coupled to an 8-speed automatic dual clutch transmission and active AWD system, the 2021 Kia Sorento GT-Line puts power down to all four wheels with no problems.

With four normal drive modes to select from, including Comfort, Eco, Sport and Smart, the Sorento has your driving needs covered. But it doesn’t stop there. With Kia’s AWD system, you also gain three additional terrain modes; Snow, Mud and Sand.

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All of which shows that this SUV is here to get the job done, no matter what you throw at it. Driving the Sorrento is a pleasurable experience too, with confidence inspiring handling and steering-wheel-to-road feedback.

Boasting a newly designed ‘tiger nose’ grille (now a standard feature across the Kia range), the Sorento’s front end design is wider, encompassing the headlights wrapping the front end of the bonnet.

The redesigned rear tailgate and rear lights update the rear-end, creating a more elegant and striking design when compared to the previous generation’s flat shaped tail.

Inside, good seating position provides optimal field of view from the driver’s seat, and the Sorento GT-Line feels nimble, with a fantastic turning circle for a larger family orientated SUV. It’s a genuinely comfortable car, even on long trips.

That’s something we discovered during a road trip that included this reviewer’s grandfather and mother. We had really positive feed back from both guest passengers, who were using the second row seating.

They found there to be plenty of space, lots of head room, and the seating to be very comfortable. The large doors made entering and exiting the vehicle easy for our elderly passenger too.

During the road trip we travelled motorways and took in some additional twisty roadways, navigating some quite bumpy and tight sections of tarmac. This is a great compliment for Kia’s Sorento GT-Line.

The suspension has been tuned for Australian road conditions and is on the firmer side, but the ride still feels comfortable. The third row, as is common in SUVs of this size, is very compact, and definitely more suited to smaller passengers.

There is a lack of airbags in the rearmost section of the Sorento (not uncommon), and this is of course, worth considering. There are seven airbags in total, just none in the third row.

The interior look and feel, with its soft finishes throughout the cabin space, feels premium, including the finely tailored quilted Nappa leather seats, which are very well crafted, with perforated hexagon shaped details.

The quality inside the vehicle is outstanding. The sensational panoramic sunroof invigorated your senses, letting in plenty of outside light, and with the ability to be fully opened, it allows you to feel the wind in your hair.

For rainy days or those with a lack of locks for the wind, ventilation is provided throughout the front and rear cabins through premium climate controls. The front row seats are heated and ventilated, providing additional comfort.

The car even automatically activates the seating functions when a temperature difference is detected. Along with climate control, the second row seats also have a heat option.

Tech features are jam packed too, with a BOSE sound system that’ll have you pumping up the volume of your favourite tracks, the 8.0-inch colour head-up display puts all the information you need in front of you as well.

A 10.25-inch touchscreen entertainment system is integrated in a side-by-side configuration, adjoining the large 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, that can be set to the driver’s preferences, with multiple configurations available.

There are a range of advanced safety features that includes blind spot view monitor, junction assist, autonomous emergency braking, with intersection crossing collision detection, a safe exit warning for passengers, and adaptive cruise control.

Additional notable features include lane following assist, lane keeping assist, driver attention alert, and a high quality 360-degree view camera.

The seven seat 2021 Kia Sorento GT-Line boasts impressive cargo capacity as well, with 187-litres if all three rows are up, or 616-litres with the back seats down. Fold down the second row with a simple push of a button, and that jumps to a staggering 2011-litres.

That’s more than enough space for everyday essentials, a hefty grocery shop and larger items such as prams, boxes, or golf clubs for a day on the green.

Our test vehicle was provided in Snow White Pearl, but you can also choose Clear White, Silky Silver, Steel Grey, Mineral Blue, Aurora Black and Gravity Blue. Drive away pricing starts from $65,290.

As with all new Kia vehicles, it comes with capped price servicing for seven years, and a 7-year unlimited kilometre warranty.

Our test vehicle was provided by Kia Australia. To find out more about the 2021 Kia Sorento GT-Line, contact your local Kia dealer.


Driving experience
Exterior styling
Interior look and feel
Technology and connectivity
Family friendliness
Value for money


Pros - luxurious; technology packed; interior materials; quality feel.
Cons - limited third row space; lack of C/D-pillar airbags
Scott Gravolin
Scott Gravolin
Scott Gravolin is an aspiring photographer and automotive reviewer, with a passion for performance cars and sports motorcycles. Scott loves riding his Kawasaki Ninja 1000, Scott has an absolute appreciation for Porsche with two of his all time favorites being the Porsche 911 GT3 RS and Porsche 918 Spyder. However he just can not leave out the old rally focussed Ford Escort RS Cosworth.


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<strong>Pros -</strong> luxurious; technology packed; interior materials; quality feel.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> limited third row space; lack of C/D-pillar airbags2021 Kia Sorento GT-Line (car review)